Food Review: 성우서서갈비 (Korean Hanwoo BBQ Beef Ribs)
(located in Mapo-gu Seoul, South Korea)
This Hanwoo (Korean equivalent of Wagyu Beef which is only sold and consumed in Korea) BBQ place is a de-facto place to visit every time I visit Korea.
I heard that this place has been operating for many years and still uses the coal to barbeque the meats. In fact, it used to be having those big oil barrels with coal inside and people were standing around the oil barrel to do the BBQ'ing of the meats. They have continued this tradition of the past till today.
The shop is like the typical, older type of BBQ restaurants that you find in Seoul. You have the usual smoke ventilation pipe (I'm not sure if it's working though) and they will usually help you to keep your coat etc in a big air tight bag when you arrived. The lady boss and boss are very friendly and the boss speaks a little English.
Hanwoo BBQ Beef Ribs
Price: $20,000 Korean Won per beef rib slab (Approx SGD$23), usually 3 slabs for 2 pax
On a standard basis, most if not all Korean restaurants serves Kim Chi by default to all diners. This shop is no different. However, the difference here is that they serve radish kim chi with the top still intact as well as mixed vegetables with kim chi sauce drizzled on top of the salad mix. They also serve the usual garlic, gochuchang, cucumber, onions and green chilli with the BBQ. In addition, they will serve you a bowl of dipping sauce with lots of spring onion in it. They provide buckwheat drink (iced in a bottle) as well.
Now to the review of the Han-woo. The beef ribs are cooked a little before serving to the BBQ table to be further cooked. The meats are very tender and flavourful with the special sauce, laced with good portion of oil as well. While it's not the most oily ones that you can get from Japanese Wagyu beef but trust me, the oil in the beef ribs after that 3 slabs, will get you feeling full. One good thing is that the boss or lady boss will come around to help you cook so that you will not be worried in over-cooking your meats (to be honest, you can't really get it over-cooked because the meat is very very tender & the coal slow-cooks very well as well)
The description of the flavour is very difficult but the closest that I can relate it to will be the BBQ Bak-kwa in Chinese New Year. As much as it's like that smokey taste, it has another hint of flavour that's very addictive and gets you to eat even more, sweet & savoury and that unami taste probably. The sauce that comes along with it, is a killer.
Remember the dipping sauce that I have mentioned previously? Once you dipped the meats into the sauce, there is this extra flavour that makes the meat so refreshed that you can continue to eat a few more pieces. The sauce when taste alone, is pretty mild and you would not expect much from it. It has to go with the meat and make sure you eat with the spring onions inside, I'm very sure you will want to take extras.
After the satisfying meal, the owner will give you another sweet drink to clear your palette which taste a little gingery etc. Again, can't describe the taste well but it's very cooling and refreshing.
Till here, you probably know for sure if I would recommend this place. FOR SURE!
4.5V out of 5
45-21 Yonggang-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Google Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/53CWwbfSxaAnYwHL7
Suggested Mode of Transport
By Korean Taxi